Dr. Nicole’s Holiday 2020 Gift Ideas for Kids

The holidays are here, and that means gift buying is on our to-do list. While gift-giving can be fun, it can also be stressful to find gifts our kids will enjoy and actually use – and that don’t lead to them sitting in front of a screen or device non-stop! And it’s a bonus to find items that might provide some extra learning or therapeutic benefits.

As a mom of four I’ve spent many hours of my life shopping for kids’ gifts! Over the years I’ve also helped hundreds of parents and family members find just the right presents for the children in their lives. And now I hope to make your holiday shopping season easier and more joyful by sharing some great gift ideas with you!

Below you will find 20 of my top-recommended gifts for children of all ages, ability levels, and interests. These are all items that my personal children have used and love, that are favorite items at my clinic, and that my friends and colleagues recommend based on their personal experiences. In other words – these items have stood the test of time across many children! Almost all of these can be purchased through Amazon via the links provided, but most can also be found in retail stores locally as well.

I hope you have fun looking at all the options and checking some kids off your list quickly and easily. Happy shopping!

Top 20 Kids Gifts for 2020

Pop Bubble Fidget Toy – all ages
Enjoy the satisfying sensation of popping bubble wrap over and over…without the noise. Bonus – no parts to lose so it’s great for home, school, and travel!

Magna Tab – ages 2+
Use the magnetic “pen” to create shapes, letters, numbers, and whatever else kids can think up on the magnetic board. Kids of all ages (and even some of the adults) at my clinic love this activity. There are no parts to lose, which makes it great for travel!

Rush Hour Game – ages 8+
Another long-standing favorite at my clinic, this single-player game works on visual-perceptual skills, spatial awareness, planning, and problem solving. Set the cars on the board according to the image on each card (they increase in difficulty as you go along) and try to remove the key piece without lifting any of the cars.There is also a Rush Hour Jr edition of this game for kids ages 5-12.

Balance Beans Game – ages 5-12
Kids use problem solving, planning, eye-hand coordination, and basic math skills to balance each side of the board with the right number and pattern of beans. The challenges get harder the further they go, which means this game grows with them as they improve their skills.

Pizza Party Dice Game – ages 5+
Kids love this visual matching game where you build your pizza slices by rolling the dice and matching toppings. The rules call for a time requirement to keep things fast-paced, but you can remove the time and slow things down if that is more successful and enjoyable for your child.

Snap Circuits – ages 6+
This great hands-on kit allows kids to create over 300 projects while learning about engineering, electricity, and more. Projects include a simple radio, lamp, spinning top, and more. An excellent option for kids who enjoy taking things apart to see how they work!

Marble Run – ages 4+  (not for anyone prone to putting small items in mouth)
There are endless ways to connect the various shapes and sizes of pieces to create a marble run. This has long been one of the most-used activities at my clinic!

Fort Kit – ages 3+
As kids are spending more time indoors these days, this fort building kit is a great option for keeping them busy and using their creativity. They can use the balls and stick to create the structure for their fort, and then drape blankets or sheets over the top to make any type of fort they can dream up.

Diamond Sticker Art – ages 5+
This craft option provides hours of enjoyment without the mess! Place sticker dots on the patterns to create a wide variety of images.

Buddha Board – ages 2+
Another fantastic no-mess art option, the Buddha Board uses only water! Kids can “paint” with the included brush and watch their creations magically appear.

Panda Drum – all ages
Making music is a favorite kid activity, but the noise can be overwhelming at times. This panda drum allows kids to experiment with a variety of tones that are soothing and enjoyable for everyone.

Body Sock – ages 2+
Great sensory input for kids who crave deep pressure and tactile input. Purchase in the size that fits your child best, and the color of their choice.

Lycra Swing – all ages
This swing can be hung in a variety of ways indoors. It provides swinging input plus deep pressure/compression for soothing and regulating.

Foam Pogo Jumper – ages 3+ (up to 250 pounds)
A safe and fun way for kids to burn off extra energy indoors or outdoors.

Aroma Dough Peppermint – ages 2+
Kids can knead away stress and extra energy, and improve focus during learning tasks, by playing with this natural non-toxic dough scented with essential oil.

Moon Lamp – all ages
Kids love the various colors and patterns of this light that can be used during the day or night.

Natural Bath Bombs – ages 2+
These are safe non-toxic options for kids who love some extra fun in their bath. I’ve known kids who go from resisting baths to loving them just by using these bath bombs!

Backpack Explorer Book – ages 5-10 and Binoculars – ages 3+
Get kids exploring nature with this book all about things to look for in the great outdoors. Throw in a set of binoculars to increase the fun and adventure!

Kids Magazine Subscription – all ages
Lots of great options depending on your child’s age, reading level, and interests.

Gabb Wireless Phone – ages10+
This is the only electronic device on this list, because I am a firm believer that kids need to be spending as much time as possible off screens. However, as kids grow and develop there comes a time to consider getting them a cell phone. The problem is that smart phones (which is what all kids want) open the door to them spending way too much time on screens, and being exposed to a host of new threats and issues. That’s why I was thrilled to recently discover this Gabb Wireless option! This unique and affordable wireless phone looks like a smartphone, but it has limited features including: phone, messaging, music, contacts, camera, video, calendar, clock, calculator, voice recorder, FM radio, and a file manager. It’s a fantastic “starter phone” for kids who are not yet ready or old enough to manage a full smart phone with apps, internet, and everything else. This phone allows you to give your child practice with taking on the responsibility of a device, while knowing they are safe from social media and other potential internet troubles. It also allows them to feel like their peers because it looks like an iPhone. When you purchase through this link and enter the code DRBEURKENS you will get an extra $10 off the current price!

I hope this list has helped you find some great gifts for the kids on your list this holiday season! 

Happy Holidays to You and Yours!


Note: Many of the links contained in this article are affiliate or referral links for companies and products I personally use, appreciate, and recommend. If you choose to purchase anything from these links, the price will be the same for you and I may receive a small commission from the sale. Thanks for your support!

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